2021 Acura ILX

MSRP range: $25,950 - $31,850
(4)
MSRP$26,975
Edmunds suggests you pay$24,431

What Should I Pay
121 for sale near you

2021 Acura ILX Review

  • Plenty of features for the money
  • Good fuel economy
  • Lightweight, plasticky interior trim
  • Overly stiff ride
  • Many tech features are outdated
  • Leisurely acceleration, especially for the class
  • Navigation system adds real-time traffic information
  • Part of the first ILX generation introduced for 2013

The ILX is a small entry-level luxury sedan from Acura. The least expensive vehicle in the automaker's lineup, the ILX offers a luxury badge at an affordable price. As you'd probably expect from a luxury brand, the ILX comes with lots of standard safety features, but there are some missing elements. Unlike rival sedans from BMW and Mercedes, the 2021 Acura ILX doesn't feel as modern or as special as it should. It also doesn't feel as refined as it should. To find out more about the ILX and how it stacks up against competitors, read the full Expert Rating below.

EdmundsEdmunds' Expert Rating
Rated for you by America’s best test team
The Acura ILX feels like a car stuck in time. It looks fairly stylish and in line with Acura's other products, but the interior, powertrain and technology features are dated and not up to the standard set by the segment leaders. That said, the ILX is significantly less expensive than rivals such as the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe and Mercedes-Benz A-Class.
Overall, the ILX is underwhelming to drive. Acceleration is sluggish, and you really have to dip into the gas before it picks up. Passing on the highway and accelerating on an on-ramp are fine but a step or two behind what you experience in the class leaders. Performance from the brakes and steering are equally lackluster. Emergency braking distances are also longer than average.

The ILX improves when experienced at a higher pace, with relatively agile handling. There's a moderate amount of body roll, but the ILX works with it and feels mostly composed. Better tires could go a long way since the standard all-season rubber doesn't match what the ILX feels like it could deliver. The dual-clutch transmission is a high point, with quick, smooth shifts and none of the low-speed lurching you'll find in less refined transmissions.
The ILX doesn't meet our standards for how comfortable a luxury car should be. The driver's seat is comfortable enough, with decent bolstering and soft cushions, but it lacks the same level of adjustment you'll find in competitors. The cushions only go so far to smooth out the ILX's less-than-stellar ride. It feels a bit too firm all the time. While that quality helps the car feel sporty and nimble, it also means the ILX crashes over bumps.

The cabin is also just too loud. The idle is rough, and the buzzy engine's exhaust note never goes away. There's also a good bit of wind and road noise, especially at highway speeds. You just don't get the same level of isolation you do in other cars in this class.
Acura's two-screen infotainment system is disappointing. It's unclear what information gets sent to which display without pulling out the menu, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay appear on the top non-touchscreen display. The menus aren't intuitive to navigate, and overall it's several steps behind the class leaders. Controls not linked to the infotainment system are much better. They're easy to read and reach, and most major systems have dedicated buttons.

The relatively roomy interior is let down by a driver's seat that won't go down far enough. On more than one occasion, one of our test drivers hit his head on the roof when driving over large bumps. Otherwise, there is ample legroom and shoulder room, and backseat passengers won't feel confined or compressed. The view out of the ILX is also fine, with large windows and relatively thin windshield pillars.
The ILX is way behind the times in terms of tech. The infotainment system is the same one you found in Honda and Acura products five or so years ago and hasn't been updated since. The two-screen setup is frustrating to use. The audio quality is fine for audiobooks and podcasts but lacks pop when playing music.

Likewise, the ILX's driver aids feel a generation behind the leaders. The system is cautious and unrefined, sending up false readings on multiple occasions. The adaptive cruise control leaves large gaps and doesn't work below 20 mph, a major knock since that's when these systems are often most useful.
The ILX's storage is a mixed bag. Most modern small sedans have places to hold a phone and door pockets large enough to store a bottle of water or two. The ILX does not. The center console is a decent size, but the bin in front of the shifter is small and the front door pockets are narrow. The rear lacks pockets altogether. The 12.4-cubic-foot trunk is a nice size and roomier than the trunks of cars such as the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, but the trunk hinge design cuts into overall storage.

Things are a bit more sunny when it comes to installing child safety seats. The rear doors open relatively wide, and there's a decent amount of space. Larger rear-facing seats might be tight fit, but that's not unusual for vehicles in this class. The outboard rear seats both have car seat anchors that are relatively easy to access.
The EPA estimates the Acura ILX gets 28 mpg in combined city/highway driving. We managed an impressive 33.3 mpg on our evaluation route. That's as good as or better than just about every other entry-level luxury sedan.
The ILX is priced significantly less than its rivals. It's not lacking features either. There's also a decent suite of standard driver aids such as adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist. In interior quality, it isn't quite as premium as other luxury sedans, but it's a step up from what you'll find in most cars at this price point.

The warranty coverage is typical. Acura offers a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty. You also get four years/50,000 miles of roadside assistance, though there's no included maintenance as you'll find with some rivals.
The ILX looks sharp. The design is handsome without feeling overdone, and there are obvious connections to Acura's other models, including the NSX. The interior too looks pretty good, though it's not quite as good-looking as the exterior.

Unfortunately, it's not quite as good to drive as it looks. The ILX shares some mechanical bits with the old Honda Civic Si, including the 201-horsepower 2.4-liter engine. The issue is that the power is all at the top end, so you really have to work to get peak performance. And while the chassis feels pretty nimble, the lifeless steering dampens much of the fun.

Which ILX does Edmunds recommend?

While the base ILX comes with a number of standard safety features, we recommend upgrading a bit by going with the optional Premium package. It adds smartphone integration along with an upgraded stereo and some improved interior materials. Plus, the Premium adds blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert — one of the few safety features that doesn't come standard on the ILX.

Acura ILX models

The Acura ILX starts with a reasonably well-equipped base trim level and offers three major upgrade packages: Premium, A-Spec and Technology. All trim levels use a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (201 horsepower, 180 lb-ft of torque) paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The ILX is front-wheel-drive only.

Base
Standard features on the base ILX include:

  • LED headlights
  • Sunroof
  • Simulated leather upholstery
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Heated front seats
  • Bluetooth streaming audio and a six-speaker sound system

Standard safety equipment includes:

  • Forward collision warning (alerts you of a possible collision with the car in front)
  • Collision mitigation braking (applies the brakes automatically to stop the vehicle to avoid or minimize a collision)
  • Lane departure warning (alerts you if the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane)
  • Lane departure mitigation (warns you of a lane departure when a turn signal isn't used and can automatically steer to maintain lane position)
  • Adaptive cruise control (maintains a driver-set distance between the Acura and the car in front)

Premium
The first of the ILX's available packages, the Premium adds:

  • Sport seats with leather upholstery
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability
  • Seven-speaker sound system with satellite and HD radio
  • Blind-spot monitor (alerts you if a vehicle in the next lane over is in your blind spot)
  • Rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle behind you is about to cross your vehicle's path while you're in reverse)

A-Spec
Gives the ILX a bit of cosmetic flair by adding:

  • 18-inch wheels and high-performance tires
  • LED foglights
  • Unique front grille and black bumper accents
  • Rear spoiler
  • Exclusive paint color options
  • Perforated leather upholstery and contrasting interior stitching
  • Stainless steel sport pedals

Technology
Has the features from the Premium and A-Spec, plus:

  • Navigation
  • 10-speaker sound system
  • Acura's connected services

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2021 Acura ILX.

Average user rating: 4.0 stars
4 total reviews
5 star reviews: 75%
4 star reviews: 0%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 25%

Trending topics in reviews

  • appearance
  • value
  • sound system
  • handling & steering
  • visibility
  • comfort
  • seats
  • technology
  • road noise
  • acceleration
  • infotainment system
  • interior

Most helpful consumer reviews

5/5 stars, BANG FOR YOUR BUCK
da enthusiast,
4dr Sedan w/Premium Package (2.4L 4cyl 8AM)
This car comes with a lot of features that other cars don’t come close to having in this price range. If your looking for a small, nice, luxury commuter this is the right car for you. Dealer also took a big loss selling me this one, sales were very slow. The DCT transmission for this car is just phenomenal I truly am lost for words about the driving experience. It is very impressive for what it’s set out to be. Acura is if not more as reliable as Lexus and Toyota, but Acura’s are made for performance and precision. Toyotas are slow compared to this thing. I would definitely take a look at this car if you’re in the market.
5/5 stars, Excellent car, particularly for the price!
Usman A.,
4dr Sedan w/Premium and A-Spec Packages (2.4L 4cyl 8AM)
An excellent car - top notch performance and looks. Even with the fully upgraded packages, still cheaper than other entry level luxury car base models with no upgrades (Lexus, Mercedes, BMW, Audi). Great entry level luxury car for the price. Infotainment system is outdated and could look better - my one con.
5/5 stars, Good bang for the buck
D,
4dr Sedan w/Technology and A-Spec Packages (2.4L 4cyl 8AM)
Great entry level luxury sedan, from the sporty look and feel to the excellent handling. We opted for all the upgrades, A-spec, premium and technology packages. Nice jump off the line, but not as robust once going 60 or more, but that is a tradeoff. The voice navigation system is well done, allowing for hands free lookup and routing to restaurants, shopping and other points of interest. Lots of upscale features for safety and comfort, including lane assist, collision warning with auto braking, a myriad of air bags, auto sensing rear view mirror and 2 driver seat memory positions. If you are looking for a lot of luxury features, but want to stay under the 35k price tag, this car is a solid choice. We love it.
1/5 stars, Piece of junk
Persian King,
4dr Sedan w/Premium and A-Spec Packages (2.4L 4cyl 8AM)
The 2021 ILX absorbs bumps like a Trabant. Worst suspension of any modern vehicle I have driven or ridden in. Extremely inconsistent throttle response. Sometimes it is perfectly linear and responsive. Other times, it struggles altogether to maintain a consistent speed. Nobody can figure out why. Various clunks/noises accompany acceleration and breaking. These aspects would make the Trabants envious. Cheap is expensive. Never forget!

Features & Specs

Base MSRP
$25,950
MPG & Fuel
24 City / 34 Hwy / 28 Combined
Fuel Tank Capacity: 13.2 gal. capacity
Seating
5 seats
Drivetrain
Type: front wheel drive
Transmission: 8-speed automated manual
Engine
Inline 4 cylinder
Horsepower: 201 hp @ 6800 rpm
Torque: 180 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm
Basic Warranty
4 yr./ 50000 mi.
Dimensions
Length: 182.2 in. / Height: 55.6 in. / Width: 70.6 in.
Curb Weight: 3095 lbs.
Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 12.4 cu.ft.
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At a Glance:
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Safety

Our experts’ favorite ILX safety features:

Collision Mitigation Braking System
Warns if a front collision is imminent and will apply the brakes if the driver doesn't respond in time.
Keeping Assist System
Warns if you are drifting out of your lane without signaling and will nudge the car back if no action is taken.
Blind-Spot Information System
Indicates if a car is lurking in your blind spot and will beep if you signal for a lane change in that direction.

NHTSA Overall Rating 5 out of 5 stars

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
Overall4 / 5
Driver5 / 5
Passenger4 / 5
Side Crash RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Side Barrier RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Driver5 / 5
Passenger5 / 5
Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
Front Seat5 / 5
Back Seat5 / 5
RolloverRating
Rollover4 / 5
Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
Risk Of Rollover10.7%

IIHS Rating

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

Side Impact Test
Good
Roof Strength Test
Good
Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
Good
IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
Moderate Overlap Front Test
Good


Acura ILX vs. the competition

2021 Acura ILX

2021 Acura ILX

2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Acura ILX vs. Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Refined, comfortable and fun-to-drive, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class is our top choice in the small luxury sedan segment. The A-Class has an excellent cabin and lots of modern tech too. It does, however, come with a larger price tag than the ILX, especially when you start adding even just a few options. Read Edmunds' long-term road test of the Mercedes-Benz A 220.

Compare Acura ILX & Mercedes-Benz A-Class features 

Acura ILX vs. Audi A3

Small and sporty, the Audi A3 is much more fun to drive than the ILX. For its part, the ILX is more spacious, with a much larger trunk, a more comfortable ride on the highway, and more room in the back seat. But if you're mainly focused on the thrills of the driving experience, we'd recommend the Audi.

Compare Acura ILX & Audi A3 features 

Acura ILX vs. Volvo S60

The Volvo S60 is a bit larger than the ILX, but it offers similar cargo space and a bit more legroom in the rear. The S60 also has a much wider array of available powertrains, ranging from the standard 2.0-liter turbocharged engine all the way up to a turbocharged and supercharged plug-in hybrid. And if comfort is your top priority, the S60 has some of the best seats in the class.

Compare Acura ILX & Volvo S60 features 

FAQ

Is the Acura ILX a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2021 ILX both on the road and at the track, giving it a 6.6 out of 10. You probably care about Acura ILX fuel economy, so it's important to know that the ILX gets an EPA-estimated 28 mpg. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the ILX has 12.4 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Acura ILX. Learn more

What's new in the 2021 Acura ILX?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 Acura ILX:

  • Navigation system adds real-time traffic information
  • Part of the first ILX generation introduced for 2013
Learn more

Is the Acura ILX reliable?

To determine whether the Acura ILX is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the ILX. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the ILX's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2021 Acura ILX a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 Acura ILX is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2021 ILX and gave it a 6.6 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 ILX is a good car for you. Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2021 Acura ILX?

The least-expensive 2021 Acura ILX is the 2021 Acura ILX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $25,950.

Other versions include:

  • 4dr Sedan w/Premium Package (2.4L 4cyl 8AM) which starts at $27,950
  • 4dr Sedan w/Premium and A-Spec Packages (2.4L 4cyl 8AM) which starts at $29,950
  • 4dr Sedan w/Technology and A-Spec Packages (2.4L 4cyl 8AM) which starts at $31,850
  • 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM) which starts at $25,950
Learn more

What are the different models of Acura ILX?

If you're interested in the Acura ILX, the next question is, which ILX model is right for you? ILX variants include 4dr Sedan w/Premium Package (2.4L 4cyl 8AM), 4dr Sedan w/Premium and A-Spec Packages (2.4L 4cyl 8AM), 4dr Sedan w/Technology and A-Spec Packages (2.4L 4cyl 8AM), and 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM). For a full list of ILX models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2021 Acura ILX

2021 Acura ILX Overview

The 2021 Acura ILX is offered in the following submodels: ILX Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan w/Premium Package (2.4L 4cyl 8AM), 4dr Sedan w/Premium and A-Spec Packages (2.4L 4cyl 8AM), 4dr Sedan w/Technology and A-Spec Packages (2.4L 4cyl 8AM), and 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM).

What do people think of the 2021 Acura ILX?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Acura ILX and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 ILX 4.0 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 ILX.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 Acura ILX and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 ILX featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2021 Acura ILX?

2021 Acura ILX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM)

The 2021 Acura ILX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $26,975. The average price paid for a new 2021 Acura ILX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM) is trending $2,544 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $2,544 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $24,431.

The average savings for the 2021 Acura ILX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM) is 9.4% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 121 2021 Acura ILX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

Which 2021 Acura ILXES are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 Acura ILX for sale near. There are currently 121 new 2021 ILXES listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $26,100 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 Acura ILX.

Can't find a new 2021 Acura ILXs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Acura for sale - 6 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $12,033.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2021 Acura ILX?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Acura lease specials